18th October 2009

Sunday

My parents came up for a few hours. Dad and Zach headed out to look for a new computer for them, and Grandma stayed and played with the kids. It was a nice afternoon.

posted in The 2 Opas (J's Parents) | Comments Off

17th October 2009

Respite

On Saturday we participated in ROCKO’s respite care for the kids. For four hours, the kids were doing crafts, playing games, and otherwise being entertained. So, we went on an actual DATE! We went to see “Fame”, which was fabulous (and satisfied the kid in me that was so upset that I couldn’t see it as a kid, owned and memorized the record of the soundtrack, and watched the TV show faithfully). It was the first time I ever saw dancing on a movie screen too, so that was very cool to me. After the movie we went to TGIFridays and split a burger and fried green beans, then went to retrieve the kids.

They both had a ball. We got to pick up just a little early, and the last half hour they basically ran the kids so they would be calm and tired when the parents picked them up. YEAH! Zora actually fell asleep on the way home. :)



posted in Autistic Life, The Kids, Zach & Jennifer | Comments Off

17th October 2009

Suprise! (at the Mission Supper)

Every year in my memory the church I grew up in has had a Mission Supper. My parents are pretty much always heavily involved with it, and this year is no exception. The simple fact that my mom was focused on the event, led to the first time we have ever totally surprised her. I told her earlier that I doubted we would make it, because I am sneaky like that. We came at the end so that she would have more opportunity to sit down with us and we could help clean up afterward. (I have so many memories of being one of the last families to leave and helping clean up after events like that…it was part of our family culture).

Every year the Mission Supper raises donations for a specific project, usually something to physically help a group in impoverished areas. (rather than evangelical stuff) This year’s project is really awesome: Personal Energy Transportation They raised enough to send 30-something vehicles to areas of need.

Now to the fun. We actually, genuinely surprised her. A major feat because she always guesses something is up, even when she doesn’t know what. This time it never even crossed her mind. It was worth it when we saw her face.


Zane did pretty well, given the loudness and number of people. On a side note, in the background of this shot, that guy in the blue shirt is special to me. He was a good friend of my maternal grandpa, ornery as anything, and a regular at the restaurant where I had my first job. He goaded my grandpa into giving the first (and I think only) tip he ever gave a waitress to tip me after a meal. He was instrumental in encouraging a shy, very sweet guy who had a crush on my friend to actually talk to her. They are happily married with kids now. He is one of those guys that just makes everybody around him feel happy and cared about. I hadn’t seen him in probably 20 years, but it was like old times when we started teasing each other again.

After the meal, Zach and Zane went out to the farm because Zach needed to diagnose the computer issues they were having. (Computer was dead and would not be revived without stupid amounts of money…better to just get a new one). Zora stayed with me and we helped clean up. It was good to see Zora happily helping and made me feel like all the extra effort I go through to teach her how to help was worth it, despite the fact it can make life a lot more frustrating in the moment. Here she is helping “Uncle ‘teve” with the donation cans.

After the work was done, it was funny to see the kids playing the same games, with the same setting, as I did as a kid. The church basement can be opened up for events like this, but in regular use, there are series of heavy curtain walls that are pulled together to create a bunch of “rooms” for adult Sunday School discussion groups. Just like we did, the “rooms” became houses, and time was spent running around them. Zane, on the other hand, was just interested in how the curtain moved on the rails.

posted in Autistic Life, Church, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), The Kids | Comments Off

16th October 2009

Snakes and sauteed cricket breasts.

*warning* for the snake phobic before you scroll down, there are pictures of a little bitty snake.
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On his way in for his lunch break today Zach noticed a little snake on the sidewalk. The little guy was cold enough he was hardly moving and seemed pretty lethargic. Because he wasn’t moving very fast he asked Zora if she wanted to see it. Silly question.

After observing it for a while, we decided to put him in a warmer, more sunny spot so he would feel a little better. We remembered the rock next to the tree, so Zach wouldn’t accidentally run over him when he went back to work after lunch.

The snake, naturally, lead to a discussion about snakes. Zora argued with us, insisting that snakes were nice and won’t bite. We explained that little snakes probably eat things like bugs, and bigger snakes eat mice, rabbits, cats, dogs, and they really do bite people. We mentioned that snakes like meat, to which she gave us that “you’re crazy” look as she countered “Bugs aren’t meat!”. Then finally, “What kind of meat are bugs?” (as compared to cows are “beef”), and she had us stumped for a second, and finally said “bug meat”. We then talked about bugs usually being eaten whole, not cut up like chicken, which finally deteriorated into a conversation about making sauteed cricket breasts for lunch. I have a strange family.

posted in Nature, Zora | Comments Off

12th October 2009

“Soccer”

So, the kids don’t completely “get” soccer. Both of them like kicking the ball around, especially with Daddy, however, Zora is especially unclear on the rules. She picks up the ball and runs away with it sometimes, and other times she has it confused with dodgeball. She asks Dad to play with her, he kicks it to her and she runs away giggling like crazy to the other side of the yard and waits for Daddy to go to the ball and kick it at her again, and then runs away giggling again. It is a hoot.

And one random cute photo of Zora footprints in chalk (it has been rainy, and when the chalk gets wet she makes the most of it.)

posted in Play, The Kids | Comments Off

12th October 2009

Pumpkin Day

When Zane went to his friendship group, he was only 2 of the 4 boys who wasn’t out sick. I made an offhand comment that “you want a 3yo to fill in?” (because Zora is SUCH a handful during Zane’s group) and, to my delight, she decided that it would be a good idea. WooHoo! So Zora got to participate instead of asking me every 3 seconds about what they are doing and asking to go play with Zane’s friends. It was great for me and the kids. Of course, in anticipation of Zora and her difficulty with waiting, every week I have taken less and less “mama stuff” in order to have free hands for her, and this week I was down to my driver’s liscence in one pocket and my phone in the other, so I had no books or knitting (or camera that I often throw in) that I usually keep in my purse. lol.

So, here are some camera photos of the excitement. The craft project was to make pumpkin decorations out of toilet paper rolls. (I am usually behind the one way mirror in the background)

And then we went home to eat the pumpkin I had made in the afternoon and was cooling off while I took them to Speech Therapy. Turned into a great “pumpkin theme” day.

posted in Autistic Life, ST, The Kids | 3 Comments

8th October 2009

Gymnastics progress

This week Zane got his first award, a ribbon signifying that he had completed at least one move from each category in his gymnastics skillbook. I am very proud of him. It is a regular class, although he is older than the other kids (and the only boy this time…sometimes there are boys, but not this group). He really does a great job of paying attention and working hard at the skills. Such an incredible difference from a few years ago.

posted in Autistic Life, YMCA, Zane | 1 Comment

6th October 2009

Swimming Lessons

On Tuesdays my mom comes to town, picks Zora up from preschool, takes her for lunch, then takes her to Speech, then they hang out for the afternoon until we meet up for swimming lessons at the Y. It has been fabulous for Zane and I. We get so much more school done on that day, and I am able to indulge myself and take a shower with no audience and/or somebody banging on the door because she has been denied entrance. Heavenly.

I keep forgetting to bring my camera, and the week I did finally remember to bring it, the day was overcast enough that I didn’t have great lighting for pictures. So, not the greatest photos in the world, and Zane’s group was behind the slides from our perspective so I couldn’t see him through most of the lesson, but we got a few shots. They both really enjoy it. They are both on the beginner’s level and doing it independently (no parents in the pool with them…well, unless I am in the lap pool doing laps, but I am not *with* them)

posted in Swim, The Kids, YMCA | Comments Off

4th October 2009

Tea

Tonight I decided to make some tea. Being impatient, instead of putting water in the teapot and going through the whole process, I decided to just use tap water. Zora was supremely interested in what I was doing and asking her typical million questions as I made the tea. After I tasted the tea I discovered that I hadn’t gotten the water hot enough, but it was a temperature that Zora could drink. So, I let her have the taste she was begging for. She loved it. (Called it candy coffee). I got her a cup and made myself another cup. Upon noticing the tea I was using, Zach said: “You know, the last thing she needs is a tea called “Constant Comment”". Yeah. No kidding.

posted in Zora | 1 Comment

3rd October 2009

Majority Milestone

When I woke up this morning, I had known my husband less than half my life. When I go to bed, I will have known him more than half my life. I am so glad I married my best friend.

posted in Zach & Jennifer | 2 Comments

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 19 years, 3 months, and 18 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 15 years, 3 months, and 22 days old
  • Random Quote

  • “you don’t look autistic!”

    Yes we do. You are just grossly misinformed about what “autistic” looks like.
    — Brigianna (MDC): Autistic, with Autistic child

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